I’m a novice blogger. Trundling round the blogisphere has made me think more deeply about the connection of things. How similar people are. How hard we find it to be eloquent about emotion in real life and how much easier it seems when it’s just you and the keyboard. (Duh, like, the purpose of the entire body of human literature, dude.)
Anyway, this weekend I was thinking specifically about the various missives lovers send each other when they’re apart. One on one personal things, filled largely with longing, lust and coy little sharings. As I deleted 53 sms’s from a (bar)man who didn’t deserve me (you’d think I’d’ve worked that out earlier), I thought of J’s letters. The twelve letters he wrote to me nine years ago, between July and December of 1997. Just before he broke my heart.
The letters have been sitting there, like proof. I kept them. I knew I’d want to read them. In the past, I’d melodramatically burnt and returned the charred remnants of a lover’s letters and then regretted it, a lot. But I didn’t think it would take me this long to read J’s.
At the time I thought maybe, when I was a real grown up, cavalier and enlightened, I’d be able to read them fondly and reminisce. That they’d offer some final insight into the man who marked my journey into the dark part of womanhood. But until Saturday, I couldn’t. J was my first great love and he hurt me, really, really hurt me.
So I sat on the floor, with some wine and a collection of dodgy rock ballades (penchant for melodrama still in evidence, then) and I read those letters. And I was fine. No tears, despite the dodgy ballades and no great wave of fondness either. J’s letters were sweet. A little awkward. Full of incidental news and observations and one rambling rant about well Chelsea were doing in the Premiership.
They made me feel a little sad, but mostly I wondered how I’d given so much power to this man who couldn’t spell and who missed most, of all the things from his UK home, Diamond White cider. For nine years, I’ve held my heart a little removed from life. I painted men with the same, cynical brush and kept myself safe. But here I am, nine years later with a box of old letters and no one to write to.
I suppose the point I’m trying to get to, not very eloquently, is that reading all these amazing blogs in their raw, mostly random, sometime raunchy grandeur has in some way set me free. I don’t know if this is just about swapping the couch for the keypad, but maybe it’s about not feeling quite so alone. I even read J’s letters, for God’s sake, and it didn’t even hurt!